Udaipur tailor's killers tried to infiltrate BJP; party refutes claim
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) strongly denied any connection with the Udaipur killers in the brutal murder of Kanhaiya Lal on Saturday, after the Congress seized on press reports and online posts to make the connection. However, it has been revealed from the ongoing investigations into the case that Riyaz Attari, one of the accused, was attempting to build relationships with BJP leaders.
- The gruesome murder of Kanhaiya Lal, a small tailor from Rajasthan's Udaipur, shocked everyone and invited condemnation across the country.
- The incident also triggered protests in different parts of Udaipur, where all shops and businesses have been shut down following the incident.
- Authorities also temporarily suspended internet services in the Udaipur district as a precautionary measure to avoid the spread of disinformation and rumors.
The Congress had claimed that one of the main accused, Attari, is a "BJP member" and had questioned whether the Centre had acted swiftly to transfer the matter to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in order to sweep it under the rug. The BJP's minority wing president, Sadiq Khan, responded, "We've no links to either of the accused" while highlighting the Congress government's failures.
However, the ongoing investigations reportedly indicate that Attari was attempting to approach BJP leaders and workers, such as those affiliated with the Muslim Rashtriya Manch, with the intention of targeting them. Irshad Chainwala, of the BJP's Minority Morcha, and Tahir Raza Khan, a party worker, were his potential targets. Further, it's been disclosed that he conducted a reconnaissance of BJP offices and party leaders.
Earlier in the day, the senior leader of the Congress party, Pawan Khera Khera, cited photos and social media posts linking Attari to BJP leaders Irshad Chainwala and Mohammad Tahir. "It has also come to the fore in the same disclosure that the main accused, Riyaz Attari, often participated in the programs of Rajasthan BJP leader and former minister Gulabchand Kataria," he alleged.
"Not only this, but pictures of the main accused Riyaz Attari attending the meetings of the BJP's Rajasthan minority unit are also in front of the world," Khera stated while citing several social media posts of BJP leaders from 2018-2021. In response, the BJP stated, "Anyone can have a photo with any leader. It doesn't mean that he's a member of the BJP."
Kanhaiya Lal was beheaded on Tuesday in the Maldas Street area of Rajasthan's Udaipur, days after he allegedly supported former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma's remarks. Two men, who apparently claimed to have murdered the victim, shared a video message after the incident and even issued a threat to PM Narendra Modi. The horrific murder prompted the Centre to treat it as a terror attack.
Two men, who identified themselves as Riyaz Akhtari and Ghaus Mohammad, slit Lal's throat and posted a video on social media where they claimed that they were avenging an insult to Islam. In another video, they threatened Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Lal had supported the suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma on social media over her controversial remarks on Prophet Muhammad during a TV debate.
Prominent Muslim organization Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind also earlier condemned the heinous murder, saying that such an act cannot be justified and is against Islam. Maulana Hakeemuddin Qasmi, General Secretary of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, condemned the "brutal killing in Udaipur, apparently on the pretext of the insult to the Prophet" and called it against the law of land as well as "against the religion of Islam."
Amid reported communal tensions in the state, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for the full respect of all religions. He also called for ensuring that different communities can live in harmony and peace globally. Guterres' spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric, was responding to a question on whether the UN chief has a comment on the "resurgence" of religious tensions in India following Kanhaiya Lal's murder.
Rejecting Indian media reports linking the tailor's murder to Pakistan, the Foreign Office (FO) in Islamabad issued a statement. "We categorically reject any such insinuations, which are typical of the BJP-RSS Hindutva-driven Indian regime's attempts at maligning Pakistan...Such malicious attempts will not succeed in misleading the people, either in India or abroad," the FO was quoted as saying by Samaa TV.
As per reports, there were 26 stab wounds on the victim's body as revealed by the post-mortem. Meanwhile, the court has sent the two primary accused to judicial custody for 14 days. As many as 32 officers of the Indian Police Service (IPS), including the Inspector General and Police Superintendent of Udaipur, have been transferred in the wake of the gruesome murder.